OWS Arts Asks Sculptor to Urge City to Remove Barricades Around His Art [UPDATED]

A view of Mark di Suvero's "Joie de Vivre" looking down Cedar Street toward Broadway. (taken by the author)

We’ve covered the way members of Occupy Wall Street have grappled with the Mark di Suvero sculpture at the corner of Zuccotti Park. They’ve called it a “weird red thing” and some think of it as corporate art, but now the Arts and Culture Working Group of OWS is making an appeal to the artist to help remove the barricades surrounding the sculpture so that it continues to be part of the park and the activity taking part in it.

The letter recognizes di Suvero’s past activism:

We are conscious of your role in the creation of the Peace Tower (1966 and 2006), and your public opposition to the wars in Vietnamand Iraq. Your work is an integral part of our collective history, and the tradition of artists whoexercise their responsibility as public citizens.

A sign that uses the official Metropolitan Museum logo on the barricades. (via OWS Arts and Culture letter)

It is curious why there is Metropolitan Museum signage on the barricades surrounding the sculpture. I reached out to the Metropolitan Museum’s communications department for comment and they say they are unaware of the sign but would look into the matter. Could the sign be a joke/critique on the part of a protester? We’ll let you know as we learn more.

UPDATE: I received the following note from the Met regarding the sign:

It’s accurate to say that the Metropolitan Museum was unaware that the barricade labeled with the Met’s name was being used there. After checking around, it seems that the barricade must have been picked up accidentally from outside the museum with other, unlabeled barricades after a City event (perhaps a parade) and then transferred to the park.

They added that the di Suvero work of art behind the barricades in the photo doesn’t have a connection to the Met.

Here is the letter in full:

OWS Arts & Culture: Letter to Marc Di Suvero (11/07/2011)

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